Nomadic Moves

The daily moves with the flock have already become routine for the dogs, the sheep and me. It does mean we have a curfew since the days are planned in between taking the flock out to pasture in the AM and being around to bring them back in the PM. And we go rain or shine. The shiny days being much more pleasurable, of course.

It was only last year that we had to night pen the flock for the very first time ever and doing so was new and stressful for me and the dogs. I wondered how, if it went like that every time, I’d manage to do it every day.

This year the task of walking a large flock of sheep to grass and back home, and the routine-ness of it, causes it to feel very nomadic to me. I often enjoy it, even on the less than shiny days. Perhaps that’s because I have a couple good dogs who hung in there and who make it seem easy. The stock dogs and the routine move have created a very agreeable flock for moving.

While I enjoy the nomadic feeling of shepherdess leading her flock across a mile of prairie, in truth it is just as often one of these guys who does the real leading.
Lady in the lead as the flock spills from the night paddock
Often, if one of the guard dogs is in the lead and stops at a gateway, the entire flock stops and waits for the dogs decision to move or not. And just as often I have called a guard dog to lead the flock through a gateway or suspicious area.
Lucas in the lead (now a photo for memory)
Whiskey traveling with the flock
Whiskey is often right with the sheep during a move. Unlike Diesel, who is often scouting ahead or behind. Notice that in the above photo there is another dog on the top side of the flock.

The four adults out in front, suspicious and looking alert
Arriving at the paddock. PJ and Glory in the rear
The llama is often at the rear. She does not like to be crowed by short sheep who can almost fit underneath her belly.  The dogs occasionally stir up a fox or a raven along the trek and when we move into a new paddock they will take off to patrol further. If the flock has been on the paddock for a day or two the dogs meander around with less concern about patrolling, unless a fresh scent catches their attention.